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Quality of life among older patients receiving faecal microbiota transplant for Clostridioides difficile infection

11 January 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 1



Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has mainly been studied in quantitative research to investigate effect rates. However, there is a lack of qualitative studies to explore patient perspectives.


To explore perceptions of quality of life in older patients with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) at least 1 week after receiving FMT.


A qualitative study examining quality of life for patients treated with FMT.


Patients with a permanent or transient treatment effect experienced an increase in quality of life in the physical, psychological and social domains. However, patients who did not respond to the treatment experienced negative impacts on their psychological, physical, and social domains. Although patients found the content unappealing, none had reservations about receiving the treatment.


This study highlights the importance of considering the psychological, social and physical wellbeing of patients when assessing the efficacy of FMT as a treatment option for patients with CDI. It further emphasises the importance of health professionals identifying patients' individual ways of handling the disease and everyday life to improve their quality of life

Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI) is a serious health threat, affecting approximately 40 people per 100 000 population per year with an estimated mortality rate of around 28% for patients older than 60 years (Rubak et al, 2023). CDI is under close surveillance by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) due to the global burden of healthcare-associated CDIs (ECDC, 2023). CDI occurs most frequently among patients over the age of 65 years receiving antibiotic treatment with predisposing factors such as comorbidity, immunosuppressive treatment and/or poor health status (Bouza et al, 2016). Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and/or dehydration (Czepiel et al, 2019). Initial treatment for CDI consists of antibiotic therapy, but if the patient has a second or third recurrence, the possibility of non-pharmacological treatment arises through faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) (Baunwall et al, 2020).

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